Although rarely heard about, bringing young girls to the United States as child brides is a common practice. Girls as young as 14 and 15 are married to men three to four times their age and brought into the country as a relative or spouse but have documents forged for authorities declaring they are 18 or older. Many of these young girls are deprived of an education and even from learning English. Once they arrive, they are used as domestic slaves by the husband and his family. Living in the West, we recognize the inhumanity of such a scenario but for someone sold by their family to a man who lives in a developed country, they consider themselves to be blessed and fortunate.
The Associated Press has just covered the story of an Afghan girl in Seattle, WA escaping servitude.
Five Seattle-area immigrants from Afghanistan enslaved a teenage girl they brought to the U.S., with some forcing her to do chores and one – her 37-year-old husband – beating and sexually assaulting her, according to a federal indictment unsealed this week.
The girl is from an impoverished single-parent home in Afghanistan, and she was informally adopted by another family there that forced her to marry at age 13 in 2005, Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Thursday. The girl’s husband is Mohammad Atahee, a friend of the adoptive family; U.S. officials don’t recognize the marriage.